OK Alexa: smart Sonos One supports both Amazon and Google voice platforms

posted on Thursday, 5th October 2017 by Steve May

Sonos  Smart Speakers  Alexa  Google Home 

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Sonos has entered the Smart Assistant race with the Sonos One, the first voice controlled speaker able to support both Amazon and Google voice services.

Launching October 24, buyers in the UK, Germany and US will be able to control the speaker with Amazon Alexa, with integrated support for Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM and TuneIn. Alexa voice control for Spotify will follow. Google Assistant support will follow in 2018. All the usual OK Google functionality will be available - listening to music, asking questions, following news, and so on.

In addition to specific music transport controls, such as pause, skip and volume, with Sonos One owners will be able to voice control their entire Sonos home sound system.

The Sonos One can be used as a standalone speaker, or wirelessly paired for stereo. It can also be deployed as a wireless rear speaker in a 5.1 Sonos system. It uses two Class-D digital amplifiers to drive one tweeter and one mid-woofer.

Sonos One _2 Home Cinema

Available in all-white and all-black matte finishes, the newcomer incorporates a six-mic array and an adaptive noise suppression algorithm to focus on the right person; echo cancellation allows the speaker to hear over music.

Sonos has also announced that it will begin supporting Apple’s AirPlay 2 in 2018, making it possible to play any sound from an iOS device – including YouTube videos and Netflix movies – on Sonos speakers throughout the house. Owners will also be able to ask any Siri-enabled device to control music on Sonos speakers.

“We live in a golden age of streaming entertainment,” says Sonos CEO Patrick Spence. “But so much of this great content is being pushed through smart speakers that aren’t designed with sound quality in mind. With our open approach to collaboration, agnostic approach to voice services, the strength of our many innovative partners, and a sound platform designed for the whole home, we’re helping people listen more and listen better.”

In related news, Sonos has announced it will open its developer program in 2018, and deliver APIs to any developer who wants to build customer experiences on the Sonos Platform. The company has also rolled out a certification programme. Partners will sport ‘Works with Sonos’ badges. Early support will come from Wrensilva, TunesMap, Lutron, iPort, Wink, Yonomi, and Enno.

After shaking up the Hi-Fi retail space in New York, Sonos has committed to opening lookalike stores in London and Berlin.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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